Frustrating Newry City finish season with a fortunate win
Newry City 2 Glenavon 1
Newry City manager Gerry Flynn admitted that his team stole three points against a 10-man Glenavon as the border club ended the season on a high.
Flynn’s men made it four wins in a row in the closing stages of the season, with their last defeat coming back on March 21 to Crusaders, before the league split.
If only City, who had topped the table at one stage in the autumn, had shown that kind of form earlier in the campaign and against the teams from the higher up the table, they could have been fighting it out with the top six after the split.
“We probably didn’t deserve the three points, but we got them,” was how Flynn summed up the climax to the campaign.
“An eighth place finish and I am happy enough.”
It’s not, however, where Flynn’s ambitions lie and he will have his sights on the top half next season.
Tony Grant had given Glenavon an early lead and they should have been further in front only for goalkeeper Andy Coleman to deny Lurgan Blues’ midfielder Willo McDonagh, on not just one, but two occasions.
When Hugh Dickson handled inside the box on 25 minutes, Richard Clarke marked his last game in a Newry City shirt by equalising from the penalty spot.
Newry’s cause was made a little easier on the stroke of half-time when Glenavon were reduced to ten-men, Conor Walsh receiving his marching orders after a second yellow card offence.
Nine minutes into the second-half Newry took advantage of having the extra man to fire what turned out to be the winner, with Paul Keenan slotting the ball into the net after being found by Chris Morgan’s cross.
Marty Quinn, who rescued Glenavon from the sceptre of relegation, was forced to reflect on a disappointing end to the season, in which he also took charge of Bangor.
“We should have had the game wrapped up after 30 minutes but the penalty kick then gave Newry a lifeline,” said Quinn.